After California's whooping cough outbreak and the threat of the upcoming flu season, many health officials are pushing adults to get vaccinated against the illnesses, if not for themselves, then for the children around them. Only one-third of Americans above 6 months old were vaccinated in 2009, despite pandemic flu concerns.
"Adults are now susceptible, because their baby shots are wearing off," explains Patrick Joseph, vice president of the National Foundation for Infectious diseases, to USA Today. "When adults get whooping cough, it's incredibly contagious, and they're spreading it to children."
Ten children in California have died of whooping cough this year, with 6,800 other individuals sickened. And since babies can't be vaccinated until after they are 6 months old--and nine of 10 deaths were in infants younger than two months old--it's up to adults and older children around them to be the first barrier in the babies' immune systems. As Joseph puts it, the motto should be "One shot. One time. All adults."
- read the USA Today article